Directions & Transportation

Mesa Verde National Park is in Southwestern Colorado. The park entrance is along Highway 160 between the towns of Mancos and Cortez, Colorado and about 35 miles west of Durango, Colorado. Once you enter the park, the first view of a cliff dwelling is 21 miles (approximately 45 minutes) along a steep, narrow, and winding road.


Getting Here by Car
The Mesa Verde Headquarters and Chapin Mesa area (which includes the cliff dwellings and the Chapin Mesa Archeological Museum) is a one-hour drive from Cortez, Colorado, heading east on Highway 160 to the park turnoff. It is a 1.5 hour drive from Durango, Colorado, heading west on Highway 160 to the park turnoff.

  • Alternative Fuel Vehicles - Do you plan to travel to the park in an alternative fuel vehicle? If so, good for you! Your actions help us reduce greenhouse gas emissions and reduce petroleum use. Plan your trip with the Alternative Fueling Station Locator from the Department of Energy (search using zip code 81330).

Getting Here by Plane
The nearest airports are Cortez, Colorado; Durango, Colorado; and Farmington, New Mexico.


Getting Here by Bus
The closest bus terminal is located in Durango, Colorado. Car rental is needed to get from the bus terminal to the park. The entrance to Mesa Verde is 35 miles from Durango.


Getting Around in the Park
A vehicle is needed to explore Mesa Verde National Park. Please see our Getting Around page for information on driving and bicycling in the park.

Did You Know?